No one knows exactly when the great Yogi we call Lord Shiva actually lived. It could have been any time in the period from twelve thousand BC extending back to 20,000 BC and a probable location for his place of residence is thought to be in the vicinity of today's Kashmir.
From what we have been able to glean from researching history, known facts and legends, and matching climatic change to social change, Lord Shiva was instigative in setting in motion what we know today as Sanatana Dharma or the eternal way.
It is mere speculation to say that Lord Shiva as a child was typically average or especially gifted but he must've had a sense early in life that there was more to life than what met the eye or was perceived by our other senses. It is very clear that he sought to understand reality in its truest sense and embarked on perhaps what was the world's first and most
rigorous scientific experiment.
Today Lord Shiva is acknowledged as the world's first yogi, a man who had such an intense desire to know the truth of existence that he renounced the world and its occluding himself from the normal daily human activities, he explored the depths of that universe within himself and discovered the source of existence.
Such self-mastery over the five senses through which we perceive reality and the five elements from which we are physically constituted is rarely accomplished and at the time Lord Shiva described followers the way of yoga (as in the method to unify the self). No doubt many people of the time would have thought he was mad and perhaps the upset the social order by doing things differently yet some were able to appreciate his achievements and the implications of those achievements.
For those who do not know, the practice of yoga releases a greater sense of inner peace, joy, happiness and sensibility irrespective of what's happening in the physical world. today millions of people practice yoga for these very benefits but there are probably none who seek absolute mastery.
The sceptics say that self-mastery has no practical value in the world and in fact those who have achieved degrees of self-mastery are often those who have as they say 'dropped out of the rat race' or like Mark Zuckerberg, Steve jobs and so many others set in motion karmic highways that are questionably helpful to our species and the evolution of our environment.
While the practices of yoga are personally liberating, they are the first and original science because when one has insight into the nature of oneself, one also has insight into the nature of the physical world. However the happiness and joy as it is today was back in the distant past, motivation for as many people as possible to do some yogic practices.
Some of the lessons learned include:
We consist of three primary parts, body mind and soul.
The soul is eternal and is evolutionary process is governed by the consequences of our karma.
As the wind is a fact of life, so is reincarnation.
Our soul is temporarily confined to this human body and this human experience.
Body and mind are affected by what goes in and how we utilise them thereby generating karmic consequences.
The happiness and joy that comes from within endures even between lifetimes
whereas the happiness, joy and pleasure that comes from physical possessions and
achievements is only a temporary phenomenon.
We exist as a species within an infinite universe. We don't know if there is any
other species like us and we do not know if there is any definite reason why we
exist the way we do. But this makes us incredibly rare, incredibly precious and
worthy of preservation.
From these points people (as in Lord Shiva's followers) began discussing how to live more responsibly so that as many people who were so inclined had the
opportunity to practice yoga and taste the sweetness of existence. Consequently the hunter gatherer societies in that region began to evolve more harmoniously.
It seems probable that a different kind of intelligence emerging, language advanced and concepts like agriculture, medicine, and a sustainable lifestyle began to evolve.
I would think that over a period of perhaps five thousand years, Sanatana Dharma was shaped to meet all human needs for physical and psychological well-being,
and because we are so rare and so precious, a matriarchal society capable of enduring for the lifetime of our planet. But not only that, the ability to fully explore our universe far beyond our neighbouring galaxies.
Due to the spread of misinformation, few people realise that India is the mother of all nations from which the first sense of dharmic civilisation first spread
around the world. The European educated mind has great difficulty entertaining this knowledge yet had it not been for Lord Shiva, the Industrial Revolution
may never have happened.
As Shiva has given the tools to appreciate our humanity,
we bow to him in respect and seek our own liberation